Interview of Cricket Fans – 60 – SRH
Thank you for your participation in this interview, tell us your early memories associated with this sport.
My earliest memory of cricket is India vs Pakistan bowl out in the 2007 WT 2007. Have faint images of Bhajji hitting the stumps and celebrating. Even though I didn’t understand the sport that much that time, fell in love with it since then. My uncle, father and grandfather used to watch every overseas series, sometimes even at 5:30 am, so that’s how I got addicted to it.
Have you been to a stadium to watch an international or an IPL match live?
Didn’t get a chance to go to an international match but have been going to IPL matches almost every year from 2012 mostly Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal stadium and once Chepauk. My first match was Deccan Chargers vs Delhi Daredevils, 2012. We made a good competitive score of around 190 but warner (was in DD that time) and Ojha chased it comfortably and I started admiring warner from then even though the knock was against us.
When was the first time you started following SRH and who or what was the reason?
I started watching IPL from 2009, was supporting Deccan Chargers as it was my home team. However in 2013, SRH replaced DC and I continued my support, again the reason is it’s because it’s my home team.
Tell us about that golden year for SRH – 2016 IPL in your words.
SRH despite being a new franchise managed to qualify in 2013. But in 2014 and 2015 editions, we couldn’t. We defended many low totals and gave some good fight in those 3 years. Still remember us missing out on qualification because of Warner stepping on the boundary while celebrating.
However, in 2016, things went our way and we brought the trophy home. It was a brilliant feeling. It was an amazing journey that year, underdogs to title winners. From then we never looked back and always have been consistent, qualifying for the playoffs every year in the next 4 seasons.
He does the captaincy job well, he is an IPL goliath and a gun-fielder too. How important has David Warner been for your team?
David Warner has to be my favourite SRH player. I consider him as the GOAT batsman of IPL. I am lucky to have witnessed 2 of his centuries and around 5 to 6 half-centuries live. I love his dedication towards the franchise. In 2016 he didn’t drink alcohol almost for a year because of his wife and he says that it helped him a lot. If I remember correctly, he said he broke that alcohol fast with the drinks after winning the IPL in 2016. He said that Hyderabad is his 2nd home many times. I love his captaincy too. The way he handles the Indian pace department is commendable. His field placements and bowling changes are mostly very good barring a few times.
And what about his newfound love for Jonny Bairstow, few words for this duo?
Bairstow mama is what we call him back here in Hyderabad haha. Was bought for just 2.2 crores in the auctions and not many expected him to open the batting. Many people had doubts about his game vs spin and predicted that he will fail in India. However, he proved his critics wrong and set the stage on fire in 2019. His partnership with Warner, the WARSTOW partnership is a delight to the eyes. That partnership vs RCB will always be a great memory, an Englishman and an Aussie hugging each other is a rare sight especially on the cricketing field.
SRH have this knack of producing good left-arm quicks, from Mustafizur Rahman, then Khaleel Ahmed and now Thangarasu Natarajan, your thoughts?
Since 2015 we always have had left-arm pacers in our lineup. Trent Boult, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Khaleel Ahmed and now Natarajan too. Fizz was one of the key components of the 2016 campaign. Khaleel had a brilliant 2019 season. Natarajan has been very impressive with his yorkers this season. As there aren’t many quality left-arm pacers in India, it’s nice to have them, and normally Indian domestic batsmen are weakest against left-arm pace some people say.
As important David Warner is for your team in terms of the batting line-up, Rashid Khan is equally important too as he gets you wickets in crucial times and is also economical.
Rashid Khan, the best t20 spinner, is as important to us as Warner. We fans are so relaxed when SRH are defending because we know we have a mystery gun named Rashid Khan whose job is to get the main batsmen of the opposition out and choke them till they collapse. Whenever he does well, SRH’s bowling does well.
What do you make of their performance this year?
This year we were unlucky to lose many players to injuries. Mitchell Marsh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kane Williamson for some matches, Vijay Shankar. Despite all these setbacks, we played some really good cricket. In some games we dominated for more than 85% of the game but lost the match in the last 2-3 overs, those were some depressing losses. However, in the wins, we have been emphatic and defeating the top 3 teams in the last 3 matches to qualify was a brilliant feeling. Our bowling unit has delivered again this year after having a pretty ordinary season in 2019. Warner who was playing cautiously at the start of the season is back to his real nature and that was a big positive for us. Hopefully, we do well in the playoffs.
Your all-time SRH XI?
David Warner (c)✈
Adam Gilchrist ✈